Sweet Miracles and Learnings

Monday, November 25, 2013

Oh yum! Chicken feet?! Actually, not that bad :)
Hello all!

So I know you have seen some pictures of members playing Jenga with us, and I wanted to give a little background to it! It is a great idea that my companion had, so we have been doing it with a ton of less active and also members in our area! It is a Jenga game, connected with Helaman 5:12. We have to build our foundation on Christ, and if we have faith in Him, we cannot fall! It is a lot of fun and you label all the bricks with things that strengthen our faith, such as "hadir 3 jam di gereja" (3 hours attending church) and "ambil sacramen"(take the sacrament) and "ada malam keluarga"(hold family home evening) etc. Then as you stop doing them, you remove them from your foundation of faith. and it becomes easier and easier to fall. It is a really fun time that really builds the trust with the missionaries as real people, rather than just these orang putih! (white people) So much fun! We are always looking for clever ideas and fun ways to get members involved, with fun games that have messages attached. If any of you can think of games like that, I would love it if you emailed me the idea and Elder Adams and I will try to use them!! (My email is jon.coleman(at sign)myldsmail.net)

Okay, here in Malaysia, stuff happens. Last week, rain came every day. except one. So yeah, sometimes we ride all the way out to Kota Masai (20+ miles with crazy hills, my legs are unreal) and it's still raining. So this week my companion and I prayed really hard that we could have a week without rain so we could make sure we were accomplishing everything the Lord wanted us to. And this week, it only rained once during the day; the only other times it rained were at night or in the morning, times we weren't proselyting. That was definitely a miracle we saw in our area this week that was super sweet! The Lord is really looking out for the work in this area.

It's an urban area, but we leave the city and ride out to the suburbs. I don't have many village things near me because I am in a big city called Johor Bahru, but it's pretty sweet looking. The food here is all delicious; there are just sometimes fishy things I am so not down for (see the fish pic), but it's all great. Also, McDonald's and KFC are quality restaurants down here! They're actually way good, but Burger King is much cheaper so we go there more often. We have to have American food sometimes to counter the digestive issues we experience at times from the local food!

This week we got super sweaty playing soccer = bola sepak, like SUPER sweaty and gross, probably sweatier than I have ever been in my entire life! But I've been refining my keeper skills! Hahaha Also, every week I work on my piano skills at church! My sight reading isn't that awful and it's actually getting way better. I might even be able to be a pianist by the end of my mission!

Also, I've kind of made a resolution to learn Mandarin Chinese when I get back, so I've been talking to Chinese Elders about some random Chinese phrases! I've learned how to ask for a name and say what mine is and also say 'I'm a missionary from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.' Pretty cool.

Something I really have seen this week is the reality of my calling and how important it is. One of our main investigators is named Erika, a relative of some recent converts. Elder Adams and I taught her about the Plan of Salvation, Heavenly Father's plan for His children that allows all of us to live on this earth, gain experience, and return to live with Him and our families forever. As I was teaching, I really just realized how significant this message is! See 3 Nephi 5:13:

13 Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been acalled of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.

I really know that to be true, that this message can really help people have a better and more fulfilling life on earth but also have a joyful existence with our families after this life. I remember saying in the lesson "Sebab rancangan ini, kalau saya meninggal, atau seorang ahli keluarga saya meninggal, saya tak risau. Saya tahu memang saya akan jumpa mereka lagi selepas kehidupan ini di bumi"(Google translate: Because of this plan, if I died, or a member of my family died, I'm not worried. I know I would see them again after this life on earth.) I really felt the Spirit testify to those words.

This gospel is true! If you have read the Book of Mormon, and at one point knew it was true, please! Think about your life and come back! If you haven't, I exhort you to read just one chapter (Alma 7) and pray if this book is true. If it is, it will open up a completely new aspect of your life and you will be happier than you have ever been in your life. In the slightest possibility the message of our church is true, I plead with you to find out for yourself. 

I testify it is true. I know that it can change your life and bring happiness that is unrivaled by anything on this earth.

Love you all and talk to you next week!

Malaysia Boleh!

Elder Coleman

EXCERPT FROM ELDER ADAM's WEEKLY EMAIL (Elder Coleman's current companion and trainer):
I called sister sukie on the phone to meet with her.. the phone call went something like this (a bit is lost in the translation)....

hey sister sukie, where are you now?
just at home elder..
oh perfect, can we drop by later and meet with you and the family. 
sure elder.
sister sukie, have you eaten yet? 
no elder not yet. 
oh really?! neither have we... soo how bout we get a chicken at the store bring it to your house and you cook it for us...can or not? 
sure elder, meet at 8 oclock yea? 
ok sister sukie, thank you! CLICK

so after dinner was set up we headed out towards some less-actives homes. upon realizing that getting the chicken from the store would be an ordeal in itself we called sister sukie back and asked if we could invite the less-active families over to her house and throw a family home evening/dinner instead. she was totally on board.. so we changed routes and headed straight to her place. 
we asked for a list of what we needed to get at the grocery store. she told us we would not know how to find everything and that her husband just got home and could drive us all over there. i had told her we would buy the chicken but very quickly it appeared as we were doing their weekly grocery run. they were throwing things left and right into the cart. we got up to the cashier and sister sukie and brother lidi awkwardly moved away from the register leaving elder coleman and i standing there... haha we ended up emptying our pockets and coming out with enough. that was the kinda bummer. but not really, from then on it only got better. sister h____ and brother m____ who have been long time less-active showed up at the house excited to join us all. we played with the kids and talked with brother m  and sister h while sister sukie cooked. we then had brother m  come with us to pick up another less-active family, sister d. so by the time all was said and done we had 15-20 people in the home having dinner fellowshipping one another. and then playing jenga and read the scriptures together. sister h told me she felt very happy and comfortable and invited us to her place so she could make us dinner in the following week. 

we have been really trying to capitalize on this idea. having fun activites in the homes of members and less-actives showing them that the gospel can be shared with our friends in fun ways. and that we (the elders) are actually fun and real people. we hope to see many referrals of families and friends come out of this. lately we have been trying to more creatively go about the work with faith and charity. i pray we can all be on the same page in this effort."  

Fish for days

Yep, I'm in Asia! Gotta love it!

P-day outing - a captive audience?!

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